My Little Irish Dictionary

David Kelly Randall
5 min readSep 15, 2016


87 (in some cases not-so-SFW) words in Irish English and my best American translations. Collected from friends and coworkers during a year-long visit to Dublin.

Doing my best skanger impression a few weeks after I learned what a skanger was.

After — immediately following. I’m just after watching a movie.

All Biz — ready to go

Ah sure look it — well listen, this is how it is

Banger — a terrible car, barely functional car

Banter — see craic

Beure — good looking girl. She’s a pure beure.

Bogger — someone from the real deep country, where dem bogs at

Bold —bad, wild, naughty. Oh I had 5 pints last night. So bold.

Bombed it — drove quickly

Boreen — a short street, like a cul-de-sac

Chancer — a dodgey lad who will say anything or do anything

Chipper — a late night food spot

Come here to me — Listen here

Couldn’t be arsed — couldn’t be bothered

Craic — fun, devilment.

Crack on to — hit on(he was really cracking on to her)

Culchie — from outside of Dublin

Deadly — dope, cool

Dose — a terrible thing or person, a drag. Your mate was just a dose, please don’t invite him around.

Down there for dancing — use your head, think a little (spoken when pointing to your head)

Drink — used in singular, like water or air, to mean alcohol. We’ve no drink so we’re off to Tesco before it closes.

Era — filler word used to flip into a negation or resignation, see ah sure look it. That does sound fun, but, era we might just head back to house now.

Far from that you were raised —don’t go thinking you’re all special, see Notions. Ah sure, far from a nice automobile you were raised.

The Fear — existential dread, potentially chemically induced

Feck —fuck for good sons, church going men, and anytime you say feck it, it’ll be grand.

Full of Beans — ready to go, full of gusto

Fuck it in there — throw something somewhere without any sense of organization. Go on, fuck the shoes under the bed and lets get out of here.

Gaff — house

Gas — hilarious. Oh sure that was absolutely gas when she spilled the drink.

Get it into ya Cynthia — finish that drink, or, in less polite contexts, track down a boy to have your way with

Giving out — complaining

Gnéasach — sexy

Gobshite — harmless, but a fucking idiot

Grand — fine. How is he recovering after drinking through rag week? Ah, he’s grand.

Grand stretch in the evening — summer nights in Ireland when it stays light until 10 or 11

Header — a nice way of saying someone is crazy

Hob — range for cooking, top of the stove

Home house — your parents house, where you grew up

Hotpress — cupboard where you keep your towels

How she cuttin’ — how’s it going, as spoken by a farmer, to which only a farmer, or my roommate and I would respond, she cuttin’ well

I will in me hole — no way

I will yeah — fuck no

Immersion — this thing you turn on so you have to hot water, but you have to turn it off when you’re done or you’ll burn the house down, or at least make your mom or your housemates angry

In the nip — naked

Is that you? — Are you done?

If you can’t lift her, don’t shift her — don’t make out with a girl you can’t carry. If you can’t lift him, don’t shift him also works.

Immense — awesome. The new Hot Chip album is immense.

Jack — the john, the toilet. I’m going to hit the Jacks before Disclosure comes on.

Jammers — busy, too many people

Let’s throw shapes also Let’s make shapes — let’s get going

Langer — penis

Langers — drunk

Lash — bender. He’s out on the lash.

Mank, Manky — dirty, filthy. This jack is a bit mank.

Mauling — Most extreme version of barroom kissing. See also the shift.

Meant to be — I’ve heard, or know for a fact, but I don’t want to be to upfront about . He’s meant to be quite dry.

Messages — to dos about town, the shopping etc., I’m out to do the messages.

Naff — tacky

Naggin — A 200ml bottle of liquor that’s nearly required for everyone to bring to a house party along with some kind of awful soda

No flies on you — sharp, intelligent

Notions — someone thinking they are all that. She’s got notions about her that one.

Off your face — super drunk

Pet Hate — pet peeve

Plaster — band aid

Plug it out — unplug

Press — cupboard

Ride — someone hot you’d like to have sex with, or, sex itself. I finished my drink while you were off shifting that ride.

Rollover — when you stay out all night and keep going

Scarleh for yer ma fer havin ya — I’m so embarrassed for you I’m actually embarrassed for your mother for giving birth to you.

Scobe — skanger in Limerick

Session — a bender, but more respectable, the hunt for the craic

The Shift— a round of aggressive kissing in a bar, most likely with a relative stranger

Shook — Shaken up, not yourself, usually thanks to a hangover. Jesus lads I’m fair shook after last night.

Shout — Idea. Picking up extra rashers, that was a great shout.

Skanger — track suit wearing petty criminal with the sides of his head shaved and his pants tucked into his socks

Slag — to rib, tease

Slapper — slut, level of achievement in the game “beat the slapper” where you try to kiss as many people as possible

Snug — a portion of a pub separated with frosted glass or a wall, originally so women wouldn’t mix with the menfolk

Sorted — fixed, finished, set up. Step around back there and Robbie will get you sorted.

State — your condition, particularly after many drinks. I’ve never been to America, but Jesus I was in some state last night.

Suited and booted — dressed up

Sweet feck all — nothing. I could write that email, I’m doing sweet feck all at work these days.

Tapped — crazy

What’s that now when it’s at home — what’s that in plain English

Would be — will be, is. Pizza would be one of my favorite foods. See also meant to be

Yoke — thing, thingy. Pass me that yoke there with the green handle. Also, ecstasy pills. D’you have any yokes on you?

Your Man — that guy, this guy, a guy. Your man at the station refused to let us through.

Your Wan — That woman, this woman, a woman. Your wan was up there dancing like Beyoncé.



David Kelly Randall

Writing about consciousness. Former designer/PM. Former Mormon. Master’s in Human Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon.